Run It Once Poker to Officially Launch February 6

Run It Once Poker to Officially Launch February 6

Phil Galfond has had big plans for his own online poker site for years. He has been building the site from scratch, partnering with and hiring people who respected his vision and worked closely with him to create the type of online poker that he wanted to see available for players.

As Galfond and his team made progress, hopes for various launches turned into more work and delays. The original launch of Run It Once Poker was supposed to happen in early 2017, and the next attempt to set a date put the anticipated launch in the summer of 2018. But those time periods came and went, all with explanations from Galfond but players who were becoming more anxious to see the final product.

And it is happening. Really. This week.

On Sunday, February 3, Galfond penned the eighth in a series of lengthy blog posts on the Run It Once platform. Many expected it to be another detailed explanation of the features and innovations that will be a part of the site, but it was actually an announcement of the launch scheduled for just days away.

Do It Live!

Beta testing has been in process since Spring 2018, starting with a few invited players and moving up to then opening in September 2018 to approximately 1,000 invitees. Real-money online poker was in motion but limited to approved testers, and several sessions took place as 2018 came to a close.

Each testing session produced glitches and bugs to be fixed, but that was the goal of the extensive testing periods. The most recent testing took place in late January, and evidently, it proved successful enough to give Run It Once the green light.

This week, the site will be live, open to the public, and accepting deposits for real-money online poker.

According to Galfond, “We’ll be in ‘Public Beta’ until we view our platform as nearly flawless. You may encounter the occasional hiccup here and there as we continue to work out the kinks, add features, and make other improvements, but we’re proud of what we’ve built and we think you’re going to really enjoy playing on it.”

A Favor for Phil?

The poker community has been buzzing about Run It Once Poker for several years but never as much as in recent months when players helped test the site. And with every blog post in the past year detailing unique rewards programs and other features, players became more excited.

It will soon be time to see if that anticipation and enthusiasm translates into online poker action.

Galfond has asked a favor of all who want Run It Once to become a “lasting positive force” in the industry. Technically, he asked two favors: Play one hand and share one impression.

Play one hand.  Galfond knows that most players can’t be expected to withdraw funds from other online poker sites, put it all into Run It Once, and grind all games there immediately. The site must still work out bugs and grow into a vibrant online poker community. So, he had a simple request. “Play one hand, this Wednesday, on Run It Once Poker. (…) That’s it. Just one hand or more, and I’ll be grateful.”

Share one impression.  It is no surprise that Galfond values input, as it has propelled his vision throughout the process and helped to create the site that is being launched this week. His latest request is that the input continues. “If you like what we’re doing with Run It Once Poker,” wrote Galfond, “tell someone. If You don’t like what we’ve built, tell us how we can improve. (…) One short message, anywhere, to anyone, will mean something.”

Details, Details

The good news is that Run It Once will be available from February 6 forward with real-money online poker cash No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha games in six-max format. As more players join, more games will open at more levels. And at some point – probably sooner rather than later – SNGs and tournaments will be added.

More good news is that Run It Once will be available in Canada, Mexico, most of Europe, and many other parts of the world. The bad news is that the United States is not in that group.

Past blog posts from Galfond revealed some of the details about the action on Run It Once. For example, there will be a six-table cap for all players, and the card designs were chosen by public polling. There will be an automated seating system, and players will simply choose the game they want and number of tables. And instead of choosing a table as on most other sites, the table designations will show how much the buy-in will be and choices are made on the basis of 100 big blinds, i.e. a 50NL table will be 0.25/0.50 blinds, meaning the buy-in will be 100 big blinds.

One of the unique ways that players can earn rakeback is to stream Run It Once on Twitch. The StreamR program was introduced in November and allows anyone to participate. Players who stream earn rewards based on the number of hours streamed times the average number of viewers, i.e. four hours with an average of 10 viewers equals 40 hours of watch time. And the rakeback for watch time is as follows:

–Level 1:  200 hours of watch time = 50% rakeback

–Level 2:  1,200 hours of watch time = 75% rakeback

–Level 3:  8,000 hours of watch time = 100% rakeback

–Level 4:  20,000 hours of watch time = 110% rakeback (minimum) and Ream RIO status

Streaming isn’t a requirement for rakeback, though. The new rewards system called Splash the Pot was just introduced last week with all players receiving 51% rakeback. During randomly-selected hands, chips will fall onto the table in the form of free antes and range from one to 1,000 big blinds. It guarantees that all players are able to benefit from the splashed pots.

It’s Personal

Run It Once has been a passion for Galfond for years, and he is excited to see it finally go live.

“I can’t express how excited I am to see this project come to life,” he wrote. “Support from the community has been overwhelming, and I’m so glad that I don’t have to ask you to wait any longer.”

With that, Run It Once is almost a reality.

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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